issue #113 - the one on chaos
Are you blaming everything on Mercury in retrograde? I am.
This week was pure chaos - Rho had Zoom school because of a reported close contact in his school pod (we got rapid tests and they are negative, mercifully, and got PCR tests earlier today). Rhaki had a little cold that kept him home on Friday. I’ll spare you the supply chain hurdles and logistics issues we’ve been dealing with on the book and the pharma side of things…but they’ve been a lot.
And somehow, it was one of my most productive weeks?
I wish chaotic productivity got the same praise as deep work and atomic habits (all ideas promoted by men who, if they are fathers, have a spouse who appears to take the lead on parenting). When I leaned into the chaos this week, it felt like I was unlocking parts of my brain that had me working, writing, and parenting on a level that I haven’t experienced since earlier this year (when I was deep in writing mode).
Granted, I dropped a lot of balls on the home front - laundry, cooking, exercise. This weekend has been tackling some of those bird by bird - doing a load or two (and turning sock matching into a game), cleaning out the fridge to make stews and pasta bakes, and getting in a quick yoga flow while the kids destroy my room. Progress over perfection.
Since Mercury will be wrecking havoc on our lives until October 18th, I encourage you to try embracing the chaos. And if you do, plan on going to bed as early as you can and picking up a romance novel to unwind. That is the only way to survive.
A few updates on the book front! I hope you’ve preordered your copy of We’re Speaking! If you haven’t yet, I would so appreciate your support in ordering my book or requesting it from your local library. We’ll be announcing the full list of events soon, but you can RSVP for these:
Virtual launch party with The Chai Mommas on October 20th at 8 pm ET- register here!
In conversation with Rebecca Parekh at THE WELL on October 21st at 6 pm ET - register here! Books will be available for purchase, thanks to The Strand. (Limited capacity, and proof of vaccination will need to be shown to enter the space)
What we read this week
My Life in Full: Work, Family, and Our Future by Indra Nooyi - Nooyi has been one of my mentors-from-afar ever since I interviewed for a job at PepsiCo when I was a senior in college. Her book - mostly memoir, a little macro on keeping women and mothers especially in the workforce and more in leadership - is refreshingly honest, relatable, and powerful in its honesty. I spent the week listening to it every chance I could (use code HITHA to get 2 free books when you start a Libro.fm subscription).
The Accidental Diva by Tia Williams. Reese Witherspoon selected Tia’s latest book for her book club. When a friend told me she loved it, I told her to get Tia’s entire catalog and like me, this book was her favorite. It is funny & smart and is all about friendship & love. It’s just a perfect book.
The Top 5
Americans Have No Idea What the Supply Chain Really Is (The Atlantic)
The Disease of Being Busy (On Being)
The Simple Change I Made to Boost my Daily Happiness (Mother Untitled)
The Catch Up
Revenge Bedtime Procrastination (Culture Study)
Roxane Gay on Tough Love, and Being an Acquired Taste (Town & Country)
Haiti’s leader: Migration won’t end unless inequality does (Associated Press)
The Mistakes We Cannot Make Again (The Dispatch)
How Delta Beat Biden (The Atlantic)
Things we love this week
Things that made my week a little bit easier - sweatpant jeans (I’ve owned these for 7 years and they’ve held up beautifully), Superhuman (the greatest e-mail client ever), stress gummies (I’m a proud investor in House of Wise), and this light mask (another splurge, but both Helena and Neha raved about it and it’s really helped with my maskne).
My first trips for the book tour are booked, and Out Of Office was the best resource in helping me plan my travels in LA and Charleston. Most of my old blog’s travel recommendations are saved there, along with my New York and Pennsylvania favorite spots. If you’d like to check it out, code HITHA gets you off the waitlist!
Disclosure - I have Instagram sponsorships with Superhuman and Out Of Office, but I genuinely love them and get so much value from them. These inclusions are not sponsored, but I want to be transparent about my partnerships.
This Black-Owned Beauty Box from Sephora is spectacular for many reasons. One, the sizes aren’t typical samples you find in a box like this. The Fenty Mascara and Pat McGrath Lipstick are both full-sized! The Fenty Face Wash is smaller than regular but still very large! Then, there are 3 hair items! Including the legendary Briogeo Deep Conditioning mask as well as the Bread Beauty Supply Hair Oil, which smells divine. There’s also a retinol treatment (which is the only true sample size, and it would be considered deluxe) and another hair mask! All for $35!!! I am ordering a few as gifts for Christmas before it sells out. The brands being all Black-Owned is just a ginormous plus. (And don’t worry about the products being suitable if you aren’t a POC, I gave this to a non-POC girlfriend and she loved every item!)
Take care of yourself, and please share #5SmartReads if you’re enjoying them!